Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The artistic journey - from Farmer's Market to volcanic explosion of passion

Tomato about to go

Introspected Pepper
Last Saturday I went to the Farmer's Market with my friend Tina.  I wasn't planning to buy much since I'd already bought to much the week before which was steadily rotting in my frig, but when she showed me the fabulous long and skinny red peppers which were curled in on themselves and the bright orange little ones, I realized they needed to be drawn!  So this week I've had a lovely time drawing peppers and tomatoes.

Of course, I realize that drawing all these color studies and peppers and tomatoes is just a way to avoid what I really want to be working on - my new female nude!  I've gotten blocked working on it and haven't gotten back to it since the first day I spent 6 hours on it.  I like how it looks now, except that it needs some revisions.  I'm worried I'll try to make it too perfect and it'll lose some of the spontenaity.  I want to throw paint at it and play, but it's at the stage where playing isn't exactly the right thing to do.

I want to start another canvas, but Chris has no time to build me one.  I have so many ideas now about what to do. I want to play with the backgrounds - splashes and slashes and curls and who knows what else?  Utter energy.

I have a photo of a friend who was clowning while wearing my floor length (fake) fur coat.  I really want to paint it.  I have a vision of how it can look.  This wonderful friend saw the work I did during Thomas's workshop, specifically the one where I was learning about Jenny Saville's methods, and said, "Why don't you paint me like that?  I wish you'd paint me like that!  It's my insides on the outside!"  So now I have her permission to play with the images of her.
Up until she gave me her permission, I've been worried about painting my models with too much frenzy and spontenaity because they won't look "beautiful and serene" when I'm finished - probably - I actually have no idea how they'll look - it would be about playing.  It would be about exploring the image and how I feel about it.  Up until now, I've approached the image from the point of the view of the model.  I've wanted to be respectful and paint a beautiful painting as a means of helping them love their bodies and how they look.  I have every intention of continuing to be respectful.  That is a given.  But I'm feeling a very strong urge to allow myself to come through more onto the canvas.  I have a wellspring of passion inside of me which I suppress pretty thoroughly which is why my paintings are so accurate and photo-based.  I'm finding that it's time to break through my own opposition to my passion and to let it flow.
I see a volcanic eruption of white fire - passion, love, anger, grief - the whole gamut of feelings I've managed to repress all these years.  I always tried to be a good girl so I wouldn't make other people uncomfortable.  Well, guess what?  I've now finally learned that if THEY are uncomfortable, it's THEIR problem!  And it isn't MY job to make them comfortable or happy or anything else.  My job is to take care of myself and to express myself fully.  If people get mad at me about that, that is for them to deal with.  Perhaps I'll get some flack.  Perhaps I'll lose some friends.  But I'll be a more full and complete human being, and I think the art I create from that place will be significantly more important and authentic and gorgeous than anything I have created heretofore.

So watch out, world!  I'm coming out!

To my models, if you have an opinion about how you prefer to be painted, I'd love to hear it.  I'm curious.  It could be I've stayed staid, thinking it was your preference, when, like with my model above, it wasn't!  It could be that playful and spontaneous is perfect for you too.  Or it could be that you prefer the perfectly rendered pictures.  Or it could be that you have 50 other things you've thought about which haven't even occurred to me yet.  Collaboration is a powerful thing - it leads to much better art than working alone, so please let me know.  I'm so curious! 

This art journey is such a GREAT one to be on!


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